Working with the Local Data Company, we found that independent record shops in Great Britain declined from 293 in 2012 to 274 in 2013. That’s a fall of 6%.
Greater London has seen the greatest decline of 10 shops, down to 55 shops. Meanwhile, the South West showed the greatest increase with an increase of 4 shops, to 47 shops.
Matthew Hopkinson, director at the Local Data Company commented:
“In light of the store closures by HMV, the key chain retailer in this space, the significance of independent record shops has increased further. The decline in shops is not unexpected but the rate of this decline is significantly higher than that of independent shops overall who have remained stable in the last 12 months.
Independent record shops are clearly an important part of many a town’s retail offer, bringing uniqueness and diversity. With the resurgence of vinyl and retro, one hopes that the decline we have seen in the last 12 months can be reversed or at least be halted. With the large number of empty shops, now is a great time to open a record shop if the consumer demand is there.”
Dan Thompson, of the Empty Shops Network believes that despite the decline, record stores have a strong future:
“All my work with empty shops across the UK started after I accidentally bought a small record store in a burst of enthusiasm! What we’re seeing with independent record stores is the reinvention of the high street, with shops that offer a social experience, in store gigs, a mix of products and friendly yet expert service. If you want to see the future of retail, look at the cutting edge, and that’s stores like Rough Trade East in London, Jumbo Records in Leeds and Union Music in Lewes”
The Local Data Company is the UK’s leader in retail location data and insight, with information based on a unique, field researched database of over 500,000 premises. The Empty Shops Network are the UK’s experts in the reuse of empty shops, whether as pop ups or finding more permanent solutions.